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Warrior: Wilco Dekker

'On top of the world'

Icon of calendar 29/01/2022

Facts

Sport
Mountaineering
Specialty
Expedition style
Date of birth
15/07/1969
Nationality
Netherlands

Achievements

Mount Everest summit 29 May 2019 

Bio

Who or what inspired you to become an athlete? Why?

None in particular, but when I was young I was fascinated by Bruce Lee because of his body control, balance, motivation, fight for the good. In general I have big admiration for all athletes that follow their dream and are willing to invest all they have. Also Eddy the Eagle did sacrify a lot to get to the Olympics.

When did you first realize that you were talented and wanted to be an athlete (mountaineer)? What made you choose to pursue that talent?

I found out early that I have an interest in a diversity of sports. And once I start with something I want to become good at it, become better and try to find my limits. This often brought me great pleasure and fun. Over the years now I am also looking for personal balance, peace and momentum. I find that in the mountains. As such both worlds met when I started mountaineering. Again, I could not stop climbing and ended up climbing Mount Everest.

What (sports) performance are you most proud of? Why?

That must have been winning the National Cup of Rugby in the Netherlands in 2009. In 2000 we set ourselves a goal to change direction from an amateur club towards the number 1 of the Netherlands. 9 years of hard work, team effort, highs & lows but we finally got to play the final in the National Stadium in Amsterdam with Television broadcast. And we won.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

Sometimes people don’t believe that what you are aiming for can be reached. They try to talk you out of it or advice you not to do it. However, they don’t know your drive and your motivation to do research, train, fail, learn and become ready for the dream. Always continue what you believe in regardless what others say.

Which (sports) person is a true warrior (hero) to you? Why?

Nirmal Purja stands out of the crowd. He climbed the 14 8000+ peaks within 6 months and 6 days. Incredible and amazing achievement. His drive to do something which almost seems impossible is fascinating.

What do you think is the key to becoming a successful (extreme) athlete?

Mindset above all. Training and workout to become stronger start with the motivation to get started and have a goal to work towards. However finding your goal is most difficult. Do not live the life of somebody else but find out what your strengths are. What makes you unique. Explore and become good at it. Better than others think is practicle.

What was the best advice you were ever given in your (sports) career? Why?

Always listen and learn from somebody who is more experienced than you are. You will only get better.

Can you describe to us your current training schedule? What do you do in your training that you think is key to your success? Why?

When preparing for an expedition:

               - 6-9-12 hours a week (3-6-9 months preparation)
               - Gym                   Core training / balance (balance ball, one leg exercises)
                                            Strength: legs, core, shoulders, arms (not heavy but many repetitions 3x100+)
               - Outdoor            Walking with backpack (15-20 kg): 2-4-6 hrs
                                            Walking with backpack (12 kg) and car-tire on beach (4-5 hrs)
                                             Endurance all-round: Running (1-2 hrs), Cycling (2-4 hrs)
               - Indoor               Refresh & Continue indoor climbing skills
                                            Slackline exercises

What are your favorite exercises and best training tips? Why?
    - or: What exercises do you recommend to people who are striving to become where you are now? (= training tips) Why?

               - Balance exercises: It trains your whole body, also muscles you are not aware of but they will help you to become stronger
               - Endurance-repetition exercises to push your limits: walk up and down the same stairs for 3 hours with a backpack of 15 kg. You go through some great phases of reflection.

What kind of diet do you prefer & do you always eat healthy food? How important is this to you as an athlete? Do you use supplements? Why?

Healthy food is key as long as you know what you eat and why. By knowing this you can identify what you need to add with supplements to create the right balance. For me a variation of many vegetables, nuts, fruits, yogurt but also meat are very important. Spice it up with ginger and garlic and you can create excellent meals.

Supplements are great to add what you miss in order to put your body in a perfect shape for the exercises you do and the goal you are striving for. In the end it is your body who does the hard work to get you to your goal. Take care of it.

Outrageous goals require an optimal healthy strengthened body and a balanced mindset that is at peace.

What sacrifices you made did you think were the hardest to make in your career in sports? How do did you stay motivated?

Sacrify: Giving up on other sports (temporarily) to avoid any injuries when training for the Mount Everest expedition. E.g. I stopped playing soccer and windsurfing as the risk of getting injured was too high and could jeopardize my expedition

If you could choose another sport to be great at, what would it be? Why?

I would love to be a gymnast of parkour- or free runner. It is all about balance & body-mind control 

Do you have a favorite workout song/playlist or mantra (motivational quote)? And is that playlist public?

My personal believe is: Get Inspired, Follow your Intuition. It translates to: Listen to as many inspirational people you can, pick and use what works for you to enrich your own life. Trust your intuition it is always right, don’t follow the signs if it does not feel good.

What are your goals for the coming year? Any other interesting future plans that we should know?

Mount Vinson in Antarctics (DEC 2022 or DEC 2023 depending on progress sponserships).

Where do you picture yourself in 15 years, and what have you accomplished by then? Choose your words wisely, because we’ll hold you to it.

I hope to have succeeded in climbing all 7 summits. Still 1 to go in the Antarctics (Mount Vinson) to get there. Furthermore I would like to further explore body and mind cooperation and write my second book.

As I know we can do way more than we on forehand think. It is a strong believe in yourself that nothing is impossible. It is just a mindset.

Favorite workout playlist?


None while working out (I like to focus, experience my mental state and listen to my inner soul) For me music helps me to reflect things after the workout.

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